A project of USGS in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Despite state-wide monitoring efforts on mainland Florida beaches to map and enumerate nesting effort for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), very little focus has been placed on sampling sea turtles on nesting beaches in Everglades National Park (ENP). Recent genetic analyses of loggerheads in the U.S. Atlantic have distinguished several subpopulations in the region. However, it is currently unclear to which subpopulation loggerheads nesting in the Everglades belong, as they have not been included in these analyses.
The remote sandy beaches of Everglades National Park are comprised of 18 individual beaches that cover a total length of 56,650 m. Intense surveys of these beaches in the 1970s and 1980s indicated that these beaches are used by federally-threatened loggerhead sea turtles for nesting. The National Park Service (NPS) is currently conducting surveys of Cape Sable beaches to document sea turtle nesting effort. To complement this effort, we use satellite tracking and genetic sampling to gain an understanding of genetic and physical connectivity of Cape Sable loggerheads to other subpopulations and habitats.